UNITED STATES NEWS

The FBI should face new limits on its use of US foreign spy data, a key intelligence board says

Jul 31, 2023, 7:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI should stop using a U.S. spy database of foreigners’ emails and other communications for investigating crimes that aren’t related to national security, a group of White House intelligence advisers recommended in a report released Monday.

The President’s Intelligence Advisory Board’s findings come as the White House pushes Congress to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before its expiration at the end of this year. U.S. intelligence officials say Section 702 enables investigations of Chinese and Russian espionage, potential terrorist plots, and other threats.

But spy agencies also end up capturing the communications of U.S. citizens and businesses, and a series of intelligence mistakes at the FBI has fanned bipartisan criticism of the bureau that has strongly colored the debate over renewing the law.

The advisory board says the FBI made “inappropriate use” at times of Section 702 information. Those include queries for a U.S. senator and state senator’s names without properly limiting the search, looking for someone believed to have been at the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and doing large queries of names of protesters following the 2020 death of George Floyd.

“Unfortunately, complacency, a lack of proper procedures, and the sheer volume of Section 702 activity led to FBI’s inappropriate use of Section 702 authorities, specifically U.S. person queries,” the board said in its report. “U.S. person queries” generally mean searches for U.S. citizens and businesses.

The board recommends the FBI no longer search the data when it is seeking evidence of a crime not related to national security. Currently, the FBI conducts fewer than two dozen such searches a year, a senior administration official told reporters Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House.

The White House has not decided whether it will accept the recommendation but is studying the board’s work and report, the official said.

The board’s report largely lines up with the White House’s positions on other changes being debated in Congress. The board opposed requiring the FBI to obtain a warrant before it searches Section 702 data, saying that change would be impractical. It also says the FBI needs to maintain access to foreign spy collection because unlike other intelligence agencies, it has law enforcement authorities inside the U.S. and can warn Americans that they are being targeted by foreign spies or criminals.

Already, both Republicans and Democrats have called for broader changes affecting the FBI, including a handful of lawmakers in both parties who want to require warrants for any search.

Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., sharply questioned Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen in June about how it searches Section 702 data and signaled he would push for new protections.

“I don’t think you’ve effectively made the case that there shouldn’t be a warrant requirement, whether or not it is constitutionally required, for a U.S. person search that is crime only,” he said.

Many in the GOP, meanwhile, are furious about the FBI’s investigations of former President Donald Trump and mistakes found by the Justice Department inspector general and other reviewers.

In a statement, the FBI said the report highlighted “how crucial” foreign intelligence was to the bureau’s mission.

“We agree that Section 702 should be reauthorized in a manner that does not diminish its effectiveness, as well as reassures the public of its importance and our ability to adhere rigorously to all relevant rules,” the bureau’s statement said.

United States News

Associated Press

Vehicle crashes into building where birthday party held, injuring children and adults, sheriff says

BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A vehicle drove through a boat club building where a children’s birthday celebration was taking place Saturday, seriously injuring a number of children and adults, a Michigan sheriff said in a news release. The victims were taken to several area hospitals after the crash that occurred at about 3 p.m. […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

3 hospitalized after knife attack on boat in New York City, along East River in Brooklyn

NEW YORK (AP) — A knife attack on a boat at a New York City pier Saturday resulted in the hospitalization of three people, police said. A 911 call came in around 5 p.m. reporting the assault along the East River near 58th Street and the Brooklyn Army Terminal warehouse, Detective Sophia Mason said. The […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Autoworkers union celebrates breakthrough win in Tennessee and takes aim at more plants in the South

DALLAS (AP) — The United Auto Workers’ overwhelming election victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is giving the union hope that it can make broader inroads in the South, the least unionized part of the country. The UAW won a stunning 73% of the vote at VW after losing elections in 2014 and 2019. […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Conditions improve for students shot in Maryland park on ‘senior skip day’

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Three of the five youths shot in a suburban Washington, D.C., park during a high school “senior skip day” gathering have been released from the hospital, while the condition of the most seriously injured has improved, authorities said Saturday. Police in Greenbelt, Maryland, are asking the public to share video footage […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

New York lawmakers pass $237 billion budget addressing housing construction and migrants

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers passed a $237 billion state budget Saturday that includes plans to spur housing construction and combat unlicensed marijuana stores. The package also includes a raft of other measures ranging from expediting the closure of some state prisons, addressing the recent influx of migrants, and continuing the pandemic-era policy […]

5 hours ago

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO - DECEMBER 9, 2019: A copy of the record album, 'Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison'...

Associated Press

Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Record Store Day, a holiday invented at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees in 2007, will be observed Saturday.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

The FBI should face new limits on its use of US foreign spy data, a key intelligence board says